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San Jose mass shooting: Death toll rises to nine after victim dies in hospital

San Jose shooting
Posted at 7:19 AM, May 27, 2021

The number of fatalities from Wednesday's mass shooting at a San Jose light rail maintenance yard has risen to nine after a victim who was hospitalized died overnight, the Santa Clara County Coroner's office said.

According to KPIX-TV in San Francisco and CNN, 49-year-old Alex Ward Fritch died at the Santa Clara County Medical Center after he was brought there in critical condition on Wednesday morning.

In addition to Fritch, eight others were killed in Wednesday's shooting: Paul Delacruz Megia, 42; Taptejdeep Singh, 36; Adrian Balleza, 29; Jose Dejesus Hernandez III, 35; Timothy Michael Romo, 49; Michael Joseph Rudometkin, 40; Abdolvahab Alaghmandan, 63; and Lars Kepler Lane, 63.

The Santa Clara County Sheriff's Office identified the suspect in Wednesday's shooting as 57-year-old Samuel Cassidy. Police believe that he died at the scene of a self-inflicted gunshot wound.

“I can confirm with you that deputies did not exchange gunfire and right now we’re going to preliminarily go with the assumption that it was a self-inflicted gunshot wound from the suspect,” Santa Clara County Sheriff's Office spokesperson Russell Davis said during a briefing Wednesday.

Davis also said Wednesday that the suspect was an employee at the Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority (VTA) maintenance rail yard, where he opened fire.

"This is a very dark moment for our city and our community," San Jose Mayor Sam Liccardo said at a press conference. "These are and were essential workers. They helped us get through a horrific pandemic."

Later in the day, Liccardo told CNNthat "it's clear the victims and all the colleagues knew the shooter well."

However, details of what that relationship was like have not been released.

"We are still awaiting many of the details of this latest mass shooting, but there are some things we know for sure," President Joe Biden said in a statement on Wednesday. "There are at least eight families who will never be whole again. There are children, parents, and spouses who are waiting to hear whether someone they love is ever going to come home. There are union brothers and sisters – good, honest, hardworking people – who are mourning their own."

Later on Wednesday, Biden ordered flags around the country to fly at half-staff.